Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Freeze Dried Asparagus--Creamy Asparagus and Peas with Pasta

Asparagus is my daughter’s most favorite vegetable so when I saw that Shelf Reliance was offering it I knew it would be a hit at my house.    One of the things I really love about freeze dried asparagus is that when it cooks it turns bright green. 

Creamy Asparagus and Peas with Pasta
5 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups freeze dried asparagus
1 cup freeze dried peas
2 tablespoons freeze dried onion
1/2 lemon, juiced          
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pound fettuccine pasta
3 tablespoons heavy cream
5 ounces shredded Italian three-cheese blend

1.       Place bacon in a large saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until bacon is evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooking. Drain the bacon grease from the pan, and transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
2.       Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and stir in the fettuccine and freeze dried peas; after cooking 5 minutes add asparagus and onions.  Cook, stirring often, until fettuccine are tender and veggie are bright green and tender, about 12 minutes. Drain well. Return to pan.
3.       Stir in cream and bacon and bring mixture to a simmer.
4.       Sprinkle cheese blend over the mixture and allow to stand until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes; stir cheese lightly into the fettuccine and vegetables to serve.

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake

I recently had a party host ask me to bring breakfast foods to her party.  I made this breakfast casserole and took it.  They loved it.  I baked it at my house and then transported it then warmed it at the hosts house. 
Sausage and Egg Breakfast Bake
6 biscuits, cooked, cooked and cut into 1" pieces
6 large eggs, beaten (3/4 cup scrambled egg mix plus 1 ½ cup water)
2 1/2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons hot sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons Freeze Dried Onion, rehydrated and drained.
1 cup freeze dried sausage, rehydrated and drained
1 cup freeze dried spinach, rehydrated and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1.  Butter a 9 x 11- inch baking dish.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together scrambled egg mix plus water,  half and half, salt, pepper and hot sauce.
3.  Place biscuit pieces into pieces into prepared dish.
4.  Top with spinach, onion, sausage and half of cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over all and top with remaining cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
5.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
6.   Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until casserole puffs and center of casserole is set. If top of casserole is browning too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil during baking process. Allow 8 to 10 minutes of resting time before serving.

Tip:  You can rehydrate the sausage, onion and spinach all together.  Place in a large bowl and cover with very hot water.  Let sit about 10 minutes until sausage is fully rehydrated.  Drain well. 

Honey Crystals--Honey Almond Granola

I've been cooking with the Honey Crystals for a while now.  It is really growing on me.  I love how easy and mess free it is to use.  I use honey the most in this recipe.  It is my most favorite granola recipe because it is delicious and super easy to make.  When I use honey powder in this recipe I just dump in the honey Crystals and the water (no messing around with combining them) and it works great.  
When I serve this at a party I put some freeze dried fruit on the top. 

How to substitute Honey Crystals for fresh honey

If you need:
Add this much Honey Crystals
Add this much water
¼ cup Honey
6 Tablespoons Honey Crystals
2 Tablespoons water
1/3  cup Honey
½ cup Honey Crystals
2 ½ Tablespoons water
½ cup Honey
¾ cup Honey Crystals
¼ cup water
1 cup Honey
1 ½ cup Honey Crystals
½ cup water

Honey Almond Granola
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
½ cup Honey Crystals (if using fresh honey use 1/3 cup honey and no water)
2 ½ Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
Mix all ingredients, together in a mixing bowl.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Spread mixture evenly on the cookies sheet.
Bake mixture for 15 minutes, stirring once in the middle of cooking.
Remove granola from the oven, and stir, and allow it to cool.  Place cool granola in an airtight container.  Granola will keep in your pantry for 2-3 weeks, to extend shelf life store in the freezer.   Serve over homemade yogurt, or on top of oatmeal.